Orcas spotted off Banks Peninsula coast

Orcas off Banks Peninsula coast thrill visitors

SARAH-JANE O'CONNOR
Last updated 11:26 17/01/2014
Banks Peninsula orcas
Black Cat Cruises

BEAUTIFUL SIGHT: The orca sighting was an "amazing experience" for those on a Black Cat Cruises trip in Akaroa yesterday.

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A second sighting of orcas off the coast of Banks Peninsula in the space of a week thrilled those onboard a cruise.

Yesterday a pod of several large adults and two juvenile orca were spotted near the mouth of Akaroa Harbour.

It was the second time in a week orca have been sighted in the area.

On January 8, 10 orca were seen near Hickery Bay by Black Cat Cruises staff. The pod included a large male and at least one calf. One of the smaller orca played in the boat's wake.

Black Cat Cruises guide Clare Ruddenklau said it was rare to see orca off the Canterbury coast, especially to spot two pods in such a short time frame.

Orca are semi-regular visitors around the coasts of Wellington. Last month, traffic backed up on State Highway 1 near Paekakariki as people stopped to watch a pod that came within 20 metres of the coast.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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